Gordon Elliot Story

Summer of ‘90, I was with The Flecktones, and we were opening shows for Chicago. It was a strange pairing, but we opened about 30 shows for them and it helped spread the band’s name. One was at The Jones Beach Ampitheater on Long Island, around July 4th. After the show, I went to stay with my folks in Rockaway, which is pretty close by. We were all exhausted after a very long hot day and I collapsed into bed. The next thing I know, my mom is shaking me awake. I look at the clock- it’s really early, like 7 am. I
think- “The house is on fire!” or something like that. But she’s smiling, telling me, “Quick! Get dressed! They want you on live TV!”. This was very surreal. I mumbled something like, “Who? What are you talking about?”.

It turns out that there was an early morning show that traveled to different neighborhoods of New York every morning, looking for interesting and slightly wacky things to put on the air. That morning they were in my parents’ neighborhood to do some barbecueing, but the person slated to cook wasn’t home, and the host, a very personable Australian chap named Gordon Elliot, asked the assembled neighbors if anyone interesting lived nearby. My parents’ neighbor, Faye Levine, piped up, “The world’s greatest harmonica
player is staying at the Levy’s house on ___St.!”. So Gordon says, “Well, let’s go wake him up!”.They walked over, Gordon rang the bell, my dad, half asleep, stumbled downstairs in his shorts, opened the door a crack, to be greeted by a crowd of 30 raucous neighbors and a camera crew. (This was all being shown live on the New York Fox station).

So a few minutes later, there I was, sitting on my front porch steps half-dressed. Afer a commercial, they turned on the cameras, interviewed me, made me play a little, the neighbors clapped, and we all went back to bed. I have no idea what I said or played, but it seemed to satisfy Gordon Elliot and his camera crew. If anyone saw that little segment, yes, it was me.

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